Your personal statement

The personal statement is your opportunity to tell an admissions tutor why you’re the right student to be offered a place on their course. We don’t interview all our applicants so this is your one chance to sell yourself for courses that don’t require an interview. 

If you do apply to a programme which invites candidates to interview, your personal statement may also form the basis of your interview.

The personal statement supports your academic qualifications because we don’t just want students who can meet our entry requirements; we will also consider whether the applicant is suitably motivated to complete their chosen programme of study. 

We want to know whether you will enjoy the course content (this is where ensuring you’ve researched the course you’re applying for really comes in to play).

For some great hints and tips on completing your personal statement, the following websites may be useful:

Personal statements – it's all about you!

We asked our current students to share their personal statements tips to highlight your achievements and skills when applying to university or higher education. Remember – it’s all about YOU!

Dr Martin Lavelle – Associate Head of School

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics (Faculty of Science and Engineering)

"As an admissions tutor, when I read your personal statement I look first for enthusiasm about the subject. Which topics have already engaged you and which books have you read? Your statement should paint a picture of why you want to study your degree. If you know what you want to do after the course that is great but it is not essential. Your outside interests and work experience can show more about you – including important communication skills. Have you been a trusted person at work? Have you volunteered to help others learn at school? Have you trained people in a sport? Any of these things makes you a stronger applicant."

Our #MyLifeWithPlym bloggers have been through the application process and know all about the challenges of applying to university. Read their top tips on writing your personal statement.

Christy Lui – BA (Hons) Media Arts

"The personal statement is all about expressing your passion for the course that you’re applying for. However, when you do so, write it creatively. Additionally, if possible, mention about how your current subjects at school relate to the course you would like to do and to add to it, show a bit of knowledge and opinion on the course you’re applying for. Like when I was applying for a media related course, I would (and did) talk a bit about digital media and what aspect of it appeals to me."

Paul Hackett – BSc (Hons) Chemistry graduate

"For your personal statement, think about more than just your course. Be serious, but at the same time, think about individual attributes you have. Talk to people about your personal statement. Read it to your parents, and get their feedback. Finally, number one advice. Look around each university you apply for. Not just the lecture theaters, and the lecturers, but get an idea of the city, get an idea of the place you could be living for the next three years or more." 

Christian Freuling – BSc (Hons) Maritime Business and Maritime Law graduate

"Here are some top tips I would give to any prospective student applying to university. Focus on the course you are applying for and show why you are motivated in an exceptional way. Use examples from as many parts of your life as possible. Show that extracurricular activities have made you into a person ready for university. If you can, also attend an open day and get in touch with the programme leader – this will make you stand out right from the start."

Louise Christopher – BA (Hons) Education Studies

"The people reading your personal statement will want to know why you want to be on this course and what made you realise you wanted to study and work in that field – so tell them all about the experience you had volunteering in that primary school which realised your love of teaching, or your experience working in a hospital that told you that you wanted to study nursing. Show them what you've gained from your experiences and that you have the potential to study that course!"

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